With your help during the 2018 Christmas season, last year was the biggest Giving Tree yet with 174 gift givers and 454 gifts received – a number that has over doubled since 2016!
“Each year I have worked on the Giving Tree we have gotten smarter and more efficient, which means we are able to meet the needs and wants of more and more residents,” said Haley Koop, Volunteer Coordinator.
Haley and Carol Johnston, Marbridge’s Receptionist, begin planning for the Giving Tree in August. Each community director collects and provides wish lists for the residents that qualify. Haley and Carol organize the wish lists into various spreadsheets and “gift tags” in order to be on the tree by early November.
“We are constantly updating the spreadsheet with the gift giver names and addresses and the dates the gifts arrive,” said Carol. “This helps our volunteers at the receiving end know who gets what and where to stage the gifts that arrive for distribution.”
Giving Tree volunteers – or “Marbridge Elves” – help log, name, organize, and deliver all the gifts around Christmas. This year, they logged over 120 hours to ensure the Giving Tree was a success.
Not all residents are Giving Tree recipients; those that are included have loved ones with financial constraints, have outlived their loved ones, or have family situations that may have changed recently due to sickness or health issues. In total, 48 residents received gifts along with 13 classrooms, and needs were fulfilled at all three care communities in 2018.
“This year, not only did all of the well-deserved residents receive gifts, but we were also able to provide gifts for classrooms and the general community including art supplies, sports equipment, bedding, games, books, and more,” reflected Carol.